Get fit for riding.
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 21:20 pm


Postby Chubba » Tue Jan 22, 2008 21:38 pm

Is it best to pedal faster in a low gear, or slower in a high gear ?

I commute through London to train for my weekend off road rides and much prefer to push big gears slowly than spinning the pedals fast.

But I keep reading of the benefits of singlespeeds and how they build a regular pedal cadence and those riders seem to be pedalling darn fast compared to me :-)

Any knowledgeable views out there .......... ?

User avatar
Posts: 481
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2003 15:48 pm

Postby baccaman21 » Thu Jan 24, 2008 18:47 pm

it's a matter of what type of kind of thing you're trying to acheive... if you're 'spinning' (pedal fast / low gear) then that's better workout anaerobically (I think that's right) for Stamina/endurance - whereas pushing the big gears with a slower cadence is more for Strength/Muscle building...

I think it's horse for courses...

I've recently read about it somewhere... I think shedon brown covers some of this on his legendary website... try this.
get on your bikes and ride!

Posts: 186
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2007 13:10 pm

Postby hastings » Thu Jan 24, 2008 18:56 pm

Its all personal preference. I hate pedaling in a low gear and use high ones mainly but I have friends who are the opposite so just do what feel natural

Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 06:06 am

Postby Speers » Wed Jan 30, 2008 01:48 am

I remember reading something a while back, maybe Bill Strickland, about cadence. He said that roadies like it fast, because they require less burst power. Less power altogether, as they only need enough power to keep a steady speed. Mountain bikers on the other hand, will tend to keep the cadence lower, sacrificing speed for power. A mountain biker always has a big pedal kick in reserve.

In any case, it probably depends on the bike you're riding, or more specific, the tires you roll on, and the surface. The fatter and more knobby, the more they will drag on the road, and thus the more power you will have to produce to keep a steady speed. I used to keep a set of wheels fitted with 1.0 slicks for commuting. Easily an average speed increase of 5-10kph with very little effort in exchange.

I find it difficult to maintain a high cadence on my mountain bikes on roads. It feels like the energy is just getting sucked out of my legs. I take it down a gear and try to just cruise, but then, I'm a bit of an old man.

Return to “Health, Fitness & Training”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest